Happy, smiling faces filled a city sports centre as lasting memories were made with a day of Olympic-themed sport and cultural activities.

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More than 800 pupils from schools across south Norfolk took part in the first day of an Olympic Festival held at the Sportspark at the University of East Anglia today (Monday).

The event saw five and six year olds dress up in the colours of different Olympic nations and wave flags and banners as they paraded around the athletics track for the opening ceremony.

They then took part in a carousel of 21 different sports including volleyball, javelin, shot put, tri golf and rhythmic gymnastics.

Organiser Vanessa Boon, from the South Norfolk School Sport Partnership, said: “In this exciting year of sport we wanted to offer as many young Olympians in south Norfolk as possible the opportunity to be part of a spectacular event at one of the largest athletics venues in the county and hopefully give them some happy lasting memories of 2012.

“They all loved doing the parade. We wanted it to be about culture and sport for all abilities rather than elite competition and all the children have been running around, smiling and the sun has come out.”

Thirty-seven primary schools have been involved in the two-day event, which continues tomorrow (Tuesday) for children aged seven and eight.

Schools which have taken part include those in Trowse, Wymondham, Spooner Row, Seething, Loddon and Tacolneston.

It was also supported by more than 300 sports leaders from nine high schools across south Norfolk, including Framingham Earl.

The build-up to the festival started in January with three cultural competitions in design, poetry and song.

Certificates designed by the winners were handed out to every pupil at the closing ceremony, during which the winning song was played.

The closing ceremony also saw all 800 pupils perform the official Olympic mascot dance.

“We’ve had a wide range of schools from small village schools like one in Eccles which brought just nine pupils to bigger schools like Diss Infant which has brought 30 children,” said Ms Boon.

“We wanted all the schools in south Norfolk to bring a class, get them involved, have some fun and join in the festival. Hopefully we’ve given them all a day to remember.”

To see more photos, click on the photo gallery on the right hand side.

Don’t miss the next edition of our special Olympics pull-out London Calling on Wednesday, July 25.

Do you have an Olympic story? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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